What if I could tell you, you can tour the world, take pictures, make videos and document your friends? Well that is what Taylor Bonin is doing. He is friends with Southern California band The Growlers and is their manager. Traveling the globe with them and documenting them in the process. But not only does he manage the band, he also makes music videos for them and other bands like Alex Knost and Ford Archbold’s band Tomorrows Tulips. Whether he is documenting bands, making music videos or filming surfing. Taylor Bonin is keeping himself busy all times and doing it all with his friends. Who wouldn’t want a great gig like that! Thanks Taylor for the interview and I wish someday you can come out to Taiwan with The Growlers and perform here!
Who are you and where are you currently right now?
Taylor Bonin. I’m currently at my loft in downtown Los Angeles.
How did you first become interested in taking photographs and filming?
I became interested in video at a very young age. My next door neighbor (Austin Chapman) and I started making movies by 8 years old and have been ever since. My love for photography came later after I took my first film photography class when I was 18.
I first noticed your work from pictures and videos with bands like The Growlers and Tomorrow’s Tulips. How did you get involved with documenting them and also helping them make Music Videos?
I was introduced to everyone about 5 years ago by my best friend Anthony Perry who plays bass in The Growlers. I’ve been friends with Anthony since middle school and we’ve always worked together on creative projects so when he started playing with Tomorrow’s Tulips and The Growlers, it was only natural that I was around getting to know everyone as well. Both of these bands are full of such creative people which makes them really fun to work with.
Tell us more about your relationship with The Growlers?
I’ve been traveling and touring with The Growlers non stop for almost 3 years now and we have all become great friends. I’m doing tour managing for them in the U.S and help out with selling merch overseas. It has been an honor to continually document the growth of the band.
How did you get involved with taking surf photographs and making videos?
I’ve been a surfer my whole life and have always loved to work in and around the ocean. I started taking surf photographs and making videos when I met Alex Knost. His creativeness and style in and out of the water has inspired me in many ways.
Who are some of the surfers that you have worked with in the past and who did you like working with the most?
Alex Knost, Jared Mell, Ellis Ericson, Ford Archbold, Margaux Arramon-tucco, Warren Smith, and Kassia Meador. These are all some of the most amazing and positive people I have ever met.
Digital vs. Film, which do you prefer and why?
I love using film. The look that it gives and the feeling you get when you use it is priceless.
What types of music do you like and why?
I like and understand almost all types of music. Currently I’m listening to William Onyeabor and England’s Glory.
Traveling with bands and also traveling for surfing has taken you to many places around the world. Can you tell us some of your favorite travel stories.
Touring has taken me to some amazing places that I never thought I would go. The hardest part is retaining all of these memories which is one of the reasons I always have a camera on me. Looking to my right on the wall I see photos from our night time cruise in the Xochimilco Canals in Mexico City. We passed by a small island that had hundreds of creepy baby dolls nailed all over the trees. It was crazy. I’ll also never forget the kindness of everyone in Bali, Indonesia.
If you could chose one, would you want to document surfing or music?
I kind of did make a choice. I was on a surf trip with Alex Knost and Ford Archbold in Bali when I got an email from The Growlers asking to come meet them on tour and be their tour manager. I flew straight from Bali to Detroit, Michigan and have pretty much been on tour ever since.
Can you tell use your current surfboard quiver and which board you are currently riding the most?
6’2 T Patterson Single Fin, 5’8 Alrik Space & Time Single Fin, 5’11 Quad, 9’4 Tanner Longboard. Currently riding my Space & Time single fin the most.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I just finished shooting my first feature film with my long time friend, Austin Chapman. It is a semi autobiographical movie about his life growing up deaf and features a big change in his life when he got new hearing aids that let him hear and understand music for the first time. We are in the sound editing process so it will be a few more months till finished but we hope to premiere it in many film festivals around the world. I’m also working on numerous music videos that will be coming out very soon. Oh, and a new photography book that I want to have completed by next summer.
Taylor Bonin links：